2/7/07, Since going to the E.R. after Max fainted and hit his head on the coffee table, we've had him examined twice now: once by his pediatrician, who said he was fine, and today by a pediatric cardiologist. Just to rule out a cardiac arrhythmia, they said. My 4-1/2-year-old son, who has boundless energy and has never expressed lightheadedness, chest pain, or any type of atypical physical ailment, has today strapped on an iPod-sized heart monitor, which he will wear until tomorrow. They said that the 1-minute EKG strip they did at the E.R. might not have caught a heart problem that may have led to his syncopal episode (that's fainting, in English). The doctor will then analyze the data and, I predict, pronounce him within normal limits.
Next comes a pediatric neurologist (!) to see if there was anything in his brain that could have caused him to faint. See, before he fell, he put his hand to his head and said, "Ow." It's the "Ow" that concerns the doctors. They did a CAT scan at the ER and nothing showed up, but again, it's not an all-inclusive test. Like my kid had a cerebral hemorrhage. When my wife, God bless her, brought this up, I repeatedly said, "No way." What the fuck is going on? Why isn't it bloody obvious that my kid's just fine, and he just got scared and fainted? Still, if it makes her feel better to strap Max to all this gear, stress him out, and waste time and money, I guess go ahead. I can spare the $50 in doctor visit copays. I just think that these tests are ways doctors rack up billing to the insurance companies. Then they pull the guilt trip shit and say, "You never know, and what if you didn't do this and there was something wrong? Don't you want this for peace of mind? What will put my mind at peace is leaving my kid alone.